DOUGLASS, TX (KTRE) – Thousands of Christmas trees cover the Gardiner's backyard. For Sydney Gardiner and her younger brother, the tree farm is a perfect place for hide-and-go-seek.
"We have that much space and a whole lot of hiding spots," said Sydney Gardiner, daughter of the tree farm's owner.
The massive Christmas trees are five years in the making. "These are a lot bigger than I expected," said Jessica Mayes, tree farm customer.
But Sydney remembers when she was bigger than the trees.
"Now we have like really big 12 foot, 13 foot trees," Sydney said.
Saw in hand, Mayes said their trip to the tree lot is a family tradition. "We can all get involved in it," she said. "The kids can get down there and help my husband cut and it came from nature. It's something we can take care of."
But getting to this point has been a tough labor of love for the Gardiners. "I have a vivid memory of me and my wife because it's pretty much been just us that planted this whole field and another field over there," said Rick Gardiner, owner of Douglass Christmas Tree Farm.
This is the first year the lot is open. Hurricane Ike devastated the family's tree farm last year.
"On the west side we lost a pretty good number of trees so it kind of set us behind schedule on a lot of things."
For the Mayes family, choosing a tree of the Gardiner's farm was worth the wait. "Better than last year," said Donny Mayes while looking at his purchased Christmas tree. "It's a lot fuller. A lot better tree."
It's a Christmas experience the Gardiners say every family should try. "There's just something nice about bringing your family out, choosing a tree together, cutting it down by hand or I'll cut it down for you if you want me to," Gardiner said.
The Christmas trees are priced at $5 a foot. The farm is in Douglass off Highway 21, about 12 miles west of the loop in Nacogdoches.